Myanmar Food: Dishes Every Tourist Needs to Try

22, December, 2017

Myanmar Food: Dishes Every Tourist Needs to Try

The cuisine in Myanmar is unique to the region and can include a mix of original Burmese, as well as Thai, Chinese and Indian influences. Many of the dishes eaten on the Myanmar family tours aren't likely to be found outside of the country, so you will want to taste as many as possible while you are there.

Here are a few of the most popular dishes that every tourist should try in Myanmar:

Coconut noodles
Coconut noodles are a dish make up of coconut milk broth, wheat noodles and curried chicken. This is like a local version of the Malaysian laksa. This is a fantastic bowl of coconut delight that is thick with spices and may even include other vegetables and onions.

Originally a delightful morning dish, Mohinga is now a favoured meal offered throughout the day. Many restaurants in popular tourist destinations like Yangon serve this dish to the after-party crowd. It is easily prepared and seen everywhere from the fancy 5-star restaurants to the street food scene. The basic ingredients consist of banana stems, eggs, rice noodles and fish soup. Plus, there are plenty of other variations of this dish which may include chicken, fish cakes, scallions, fried beans, and much more. Dried or cooked fish may feature to add extra nutrition, while rice noodles are typically used to fill out the bowl. Mohinga is one of the dishes that are rarely seen outside of the country.

Pork curry
Curry is a special dish in Myanmar with pork being a prized meat. Most of the curries are made using a mixture of ginger and spices, and uniquely Burmese, which means they are nothing like Chinese or Indian curries. The pork curry is served in many restaurants and tea shops and you will find it served with a plate of raw vegetables for dipping and a bowl of rice. This traditional dish is relatively cheap and likely to cost in the region of $2/$4, and certain to be worth tasting on your Myanmar travel package.

Rice or noodle salad
Rice or noodle salad is an inexpensive and simple dish to have when trying out the street food scene in Myanmar. There are plenty of variations of this dish and likely to please the adventurous eater touring the country. A typical dish of rice or noodles is mixed with lime, fish sauce, fried peanut oil, shredded cabbage and dried shrimp. Most street food stalls will serve this particular kind of salad since it is so easy to prepare.

The samosas are one dish that highlight the country's Indian influence, and extremely popular throughout Myanmar. A baked or fried pasty is filled with delightful ingredients like cabbage, potatoes, beans, onions, lentils, and more. Also, it is typical, in Myanmar for the samosas to be prepared with soups or salads to give the option to soak up extra flavour for the pastry. The easy to prepare nature of the samosas makes them an ideal street food meal, and regularly seen on the streets of major cities like Yangon.

Shan Noodles
Shan noodles are a national favourite and goes far beyond being a simple dish solely found in Shan State. This dish consists of a mixture of pork or chicken, spices, onions, tomato purée, and sticky rice noodles topped with fresh or sour vegetables. Many people rely on Shan noodles as a go-to snack because it is quick and easy to make and literally found everywhere. But, for the finest servings of this dish, tourists should make every effort to order it when in places like Taunggyi, Pindaya or Inle Lake.

Shan Tofu
Shan Tofu is a type of deep fried tofu that is a flavour favourite and prepared in several different ways. Tofu is common in a variety of local recipes and therefore the preparation methods have seen significant changes over the years. The process of deep-frying the tofu leads to a distinct crunch for the soybean curd while the centre stays soft to create a delightful combination of textures. Also, the shan tofu can be served in many sizes. For instance the ‘tofu chips’ are small and served with a spicy dipping sauce. There are plenty of restaurants that list the tofu-fused cuisines on their menus.

Tea leaf salad
Myanmar is one of the few countries that actually consume their tea leaves. Most people use the tea for brewing a drink, but in this country tea is blended with a variety of ingredients such as chilli, sesame seeds, tomatoes, cabbage, broad beans and peanuts. This creates a kind of salad and seen as an iconic dish that dates back centuries.  Most of the pickled and fermented teas have a distinct taste to match the different regions of the country. In addition to serving the black or green teas with a mix of vegetables, they can also be served on a separate plate to giving the diner more choice in the dishes. Because the tea leaf salad (lahpet thoke) is so popular, it is easily found on the Myanmar tours in plenty of tea shops and dining establishments throughout the country. Also, there are several restaurants that serve dishes from several different regions of Myanmar, which makes it easier to sample the varying tastes of the tea leaf salad.

Mangosteen is widely found across several SE Asian countries, but those found in Myanmar are among the largest and freshest. In addition to eating a creamy, sweet fruit like the Mangosteen, there are plenty of other exotic fruits in the country to taste, including rambutan, sugar apple, pomelo, lychee, snake fruit, jackfruit, and mango.

These are just a few of the dishes to be found on the Myanmar travel with many more experiences of rich flavours and recipes to be discovered.

Read more: Myanmar Food and Drinks